Maria Bakalova and Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat 2

The highly anticipated sequel to Borat, formally titled Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, has taken the world by storm. From being filmed in secret to the poster causing outrage to ditching the theatrical release and heading straight to streaming, it’s been quite the whirlwind. Things have also kicked into high gear for actress Maria Bakalova, who plays Tutar Sagdiyev in the film and has been mentioned in many award season conversations.

Borat 2’s massive success since its release on Amazon Prime Video has been a quick propeller to stardom for Maria Bakalova. Her performance is so good that it made her mother cry. According to producer Monica Levinson, Sacha Baron Cohen knew of Bakalova’s talent right away, and Levinson is excited to see Bakalova get the recognition. Here’s what the producer said to CinemaBlend:

Maria did such an amazing job and was such a revelation. We knew it from early on, you know, as soon as we sat down and saw some first cut pieces, Sacha and Jason knew immediately, our director and Sacha of course knew as they were working with her. But when I sat down and watched some cut footage, I was like, ‘Wow, this is uh, she's amazing.’ I’m so excited that people are recognizing her and that critics have been recognizing her and giving her Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, it's just really exciting.

She really is amazing. Either title of Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress would be well-deserved by Maria Bakalova. She was clearly dedicated to the role in the way she went about preparing to portray Tutar and as we’ve seen, that hard work paid off. Bakalova mentioned being nervous about a monologue due to not being fluent in English, but despite that she absolutely nailed it.

Beyond giving a bold and all around wonderful performance, Maria Bakalova also seems to be very down to earth and just a sweet human. She reached out to co-star Jeanise Jones (the 62-year-old woman who becomes the “babysitter” for Tutar) following the film’s release, stating she’ll probably always think of Jones as a godmother, hero and life coach. Of course, Borat 2 is known for the shocking moments, especially that most talked about scene and not having super sweet and “good” characters, but that only adds to the talent of seeing actors portray people who are so different from themselves.

If you haven’t seen Borat 2 yet (or just want to watch it again), check it out on Amazon Prime Video. These characters will steal your heart, and you might have some of the same questions as we do.

Do you think this was an award-winning performance by Maria Bakalova? Let me know down in the comments section along with what award you’d like to see her win.

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